Great Barrier Reef Not ‘In Danger’, UNESCO Says
The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s decision not to list the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’.
Speaking from Bonn, the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said that the World Heritage Committee’s decision is a sensible one and acknowledgement of the Labor Government’s firm and swift action since coming to office.
“We are delighted the draft decision released in May, which recommended not to list the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’, has been adopted,” Ms Trad said.
“The world has acknowledged the significant achievements and continuing work of the new Queensland Government to protect the reef for future generations.
“The Reef 2050 long term sustainability plan is essential to keeping this natural wonder off the endangered list and the implementation of this plan will be critical.
“Our government is committed to delivering on our election commitments.
“It is important to note that climate change remains the biggest threat to future of the Great Barrier Reef and the Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting climate action.”
Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles said that the decision affirmed the Queensland Government’s commitment to protecting the reef and the jobs it provides.
“It sends a strong message to the world that we are standing up to save this international icon and have taken decisive steps to turn the health of the reef around,” Dr Miles said.
“Tourists can rest assured that the reef will continue to be one of the best managed marine areas in the world and I encourage them to come and visit this living wonder.”
Dr Miles said that the Queensland Government was proud of its significant achievements since coming to office including the recent introduction of the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015.
“This bill bans capital dredging for the development of new or existing ports, except for the four major ports, and bans disposal of capital dredge spoil from ports within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” he said.
“The Great Barrier Reef has been a significant focus at this year’s UNESCO World Heritage Committee meetings and we have now been given time to get on with the job of implementing our Reef 2050 Plan.”
Ms Trad and Dr Miles have been in Bonn, Germany championing the work the government has done to tackle the short and medium-term risks to reef health.